Published March 26, 2012
By Huw Evans
While GM works at re-building the Chevy Volt’s reputation at home, across the pond in Europe, its cousin the Opel Ampera has added yet another notch to its belt.
Following on from its European Car of the Year accolade and positive sales numbers, the Ampera has also won the 13th annual Monte Carlo Rally for Electric and Alternative Propulsion vehicles.
Piloted by veteran Monte Carlo competitor Bernhard Darniche and co-driver Joseph Lambert, the #12 Team Opel France Ampera, finished first overall in the grueling two-day event, with three other Amperas (out of a total of seven examples fielded in the rally) rounding out the top 10 spots.
Besides running against the clock, the Monte Carlo Rally for Electric Vehicles and Alternative Propulsion focused on fuel economy, with organizers using a ratio based on vehicle weight, CO2 output, fuel energy density and fuel consumption to determine the final scores for each participating vehicle.
Darniche, who won the 1979 Monte Carlo Rally and has set the fastest time on the infamous Col de Turini stage on more than 10 separate occasions, was understandably pleased at the result.
“The sophisticated technology of [the Ampera] was always reliable and enabled our tremendous success,” he said.
Enno Fuchs Opel’s Director of E-Mobility added; “the Ampera’s success in this versatility contest under very challenging conditions proves its impressive balance between durability and fuel efficiency.”